The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to handover pending work on Jammu-Pathankot highway to Railways. Sources said NHAI has requested Railway ministry to clear the bottlenecks by taking over the road stretches under Railway overhead bridges.
The work under the railway bridges near Kunjwani, Samba and Pathankot had been stalled after the Railway authorities raised legal and security issues.
Sources said that railways raised several concerns on passenger safety and quality of construction of the road stretches and the NHAI has decided to hand over the construction of these sections to railway engineers.
As per sources, NHAI has submitted a project report to Railways in which it is mentioned that though above 90 percent four-laning of Jammu-Pathankot highway has been completed, yet stretches under the railway overhead bridges are yet to be completed. Regional Officer and Project Director NHAI R P Singh said, "Unlike us Railways has several issues like rail traffic management and passenger safety to look after. But we only want to complete the highway whether it is constructed by us or someone else."
"If we start the process of construction, railway engineers may raise eyebrows on our working methodology. So it's better that they do the work in their zones and give us complete highway stretches." Pertinently, Rs 700 crore mega project of doubling of the Jammu-Pathankot- Jalandhar track was started around a decade ago.
The plan was conceived in 1997-98 and the work started in 2002. The work was started in different stretches and most of the challenges posed to engineering were overcome. Over 95 percent of the work has been competed but only some bottlenecks left, where NHAI has some legal issues with railways or other agencies.